The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that adults need 7-9 hours of healthy sleep each night in order to avoid sleep-related unhealthy behaviors and chronic diseases. As you probably know, getting this much shut-eye each night can be a difficult feat, but imagine just how hard this would be without a bed for resting [...]
The Salvation Army in Pittsburgh is hosting a unique feeding program where volunteers and employees seek out the city’s homeless population and coordinate the delivery of hot meals, hygiene supplies, clothing and blankets to the individuals at each location. The process starts with Salvation Army personnel identifying the numerous locations throughout the city where homeless [...]
Before I began working at The Salvation Army, I used to think homeless shelters were in full capacity during the winter months only, a warm respite from the blistery cold of the outdoors. I had no idea that many of these shelters also provide shelter from the heat throughout the summer months as well. As [...]
Beyond the confines of a brick wall outside The Salvation Army’s Ruth Lilly Shelter for Women and Children, youngsters screamed and giggled.
They chased one another through the mulch covered playground, only stopping to climb or bounce on the obstacles that happened to land in their path.
Last September, we blogged about the record 46.2 million Americans living in poverty, a statistic of the U.S. Census Bureau. Since that time, the number has risen to 49.1 million. How does the Census Bureau measure poverty? See here.
Shedding some light on this issue, The Salvation Army released its newest report today titled, “Perceptions of Poverty: The Salvation Army’s Report to America,” a summary of our latest findings examining Americans’ attitudes toward those struggling to get by.
This statistic might surprise you: 1 out of every 3 homeless people are under the age of 18. This year, 1.6 to 1.7 million youths (under 18 years of age) will experience homelessness.
I know, a little heavy for Monday morning! Facts like these are the very reasons why The Salvation Army strives each day to battle cyclical youth homelessness.
Story submitted by guest blogger Larry Rowe, Soldier of The Salvation Army Lighthouse Corps and Family Services Operations Manager for The Salvation Army in San Francisco.
We use the socks donated by Hanes on outreach night when we pass out sandwiches to homeless people.
It’s something you have to see to believe. Even though the folks we serve (my formerly-homeless self included!) may have greater needs such as shelter or food, they get so excited when offered a new pair of socks.
Did you know socks are the #1 item requested at our homeless shelters? And thanks to Hanes’ generous donation of 250,000 pairs this last Christmas season, our shelters were able to provide many individuals with this much-needed and often overlooked commodity.
Guest blogger Captain Phil Smith in Santa Barbara, California decided to use part of their sock donation to support their “Street Level” Outreach Ministry.
November is National Homeless Youth Awareness Month.
When you think of a homeless person, it’s difficult to imagine a child fending for themselves on the streets. But did you know that more than 1.5 million children are homeless at some point in their lives? The number is shocking – and apparently increasing – according to The National Center on Family Homelessness.
So…why do they leave their homes?
Many homeless youths are victims of trauma. They come from homes of significant abuse: either their parental figures are abusing substances and/or the child is being abused. Some escape because their families don’t accept them for a variety of reasons. There’s also a large number of youth who are the products of failed juvenile justice. They’ve aged out of the foster care system and are expected to be independent without resources or support.
Not surprisingly, homeless youth can have significant mental health problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, suicidal thoughts, and substance abuse problems. Because of this, they are more susceptible to lives of crime or early parenthood and the vicious cycle of abuse continues.
As Americans, do we trust the system too much? Are we overlooking this blatant need? In the book of Matthew, we are called by Christ to care for children:
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18:1-6, 10-14
The Salvation Army has many programs in place that are helping to end the cycles of poverty, abuse and neglect of children. Many Salvation Army units have “Adopt a Child” or “Adopt a Family” programs that allow for donors to directly pay for a child or family in need. Salvation Army transitional housing centers are commonly available in communities for youths and single parent families. Even better, Salvation Army transitional programs often include relevant training. So not only are they meeting their basic needs, younger residents will receive counseling and training to increase cognitive, behavioral, and psychosocial skills to help develop their education and career.
We liked The Salvation Army of Lubbock, TX’s approach to helping youths. Their Red Shield Home Transitional Shelter program gives homeless youths computers and technology classes to help them get a head start at beating cyclical homelessness. The information divide between lower-income and higher-income populations has been directly linked to access to technology. By providing technology for the younger generation, The Salvation Army of Lubbock is actively participating in bettering not only this generation, but generations to follow.
In an effort to combat this end, The Salvation Army also offers youth camps and recreational centers to encourage low-income children to learn new skills and self-reliance. Counselors at these camps encourage spiritual, physical and emotional development.
Finally, many Salvation Army units offer after-school programs that help hinder poor decisions by encouraging children to engage in healthy activities in those unsupervised hours after school.
In summary – there are a variety of programs with which you can help us!
You can get involved in our efforts to support homeless youths and to combat cyclical poverty. Helping financially is often inexpensive. Please consider reaching out to your local unit to find out how you can help “Adopt” a child financially, donate your time or items, or simply lend an ear to a child as a volunteer.
If you’d like to donate online, please visit our Ways to Give page.
Congrats to the newest graduates of The Chattanooga Salvation Army’s Culinary School! Most graduates have planned for years for such a milestone. For the record 614 grads that received their diplomas last week, this was a rather unexpected achievement.
Just 15 weeks earlier, students like Chef Augusto Rivera were out of life options. A sordid past of drugs, alcohol and homelessness had him questioning where he would live or to whom he would turn. A time-to-time recipient of Salvation Army meals, his decision one day to instead serve the food sparked a desire within him to cook. When The Salvation Army’s Culinary School Program became available, he made a decision to completely turn his life around.
Thanks to the training he received through The Salvation Army Culinary Program, Augusto’s newly-honed skills landed him a job as Assistant to Class Instructor Chef Terry Epps.
Augusto is just one example of many newly-trained chefs who, amid unforgettable pasts of unfortunate events or poor life decisions, desire to end their homelessness, addictions and sadness.
Chef Terry is proud of his class- especially since all 614 have been hired since graduating!
Check out the full news story here.
For more information on The Salvation Army’s Programs, Click Here.